VACHON, Reginald Irenee "Reggie"
Reginald "Reggie" Irenee Vachon set sail on December 24, 2020 at St. Joseph's Hospital surrounded by family. Reggie was born on January 29, 1937 in Norfolk, Virginia and spent his early years in Virginia Beach, VA, Hollywood, FL, and Newport, RI. At 17 years old, he graduated from Marion Military Institute in Marion, AL. He continued his education at the United States Naval Academy, Auburn University, and Oklahoma State University. He earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering, a master's in nuclear science, and a Ph.D. in mechanical and aeronautical engineering. He augmented these degrees with an LL.B. at Jones Law School in Montgomery, AL and certificates from the US Army Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College.
He was an engineer with NASA and the US Army, and the founder and chair of several engineering companies. He was a registered engineer in six states, Europe, and Asia. He worked internationally in Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Russia.
Reggie was a member of the Alabama State Bar and admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court where he participated in a landmark case. Reggie had a distinguished academic career as chaired professor of mechanical engineering at Auburn University, adjunct professor at Purdue University, and recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from ASEE. He was a patentee in his field and the author of numerous technical papers.
In 2019 Reggie was awarded the ASME Medal for eminent and distinguished achievement in engineering.
He served in leadership positions as president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, chair of the American Association of Engineering Societies, president of the Pan American Academy of Engineers, vice president north (US, Canada, Mexico) of the Union of Pan American Engineering Societies, and executive vice president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations. Reggie was also a fellow with the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and an assoc. fellow with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was a life member of the American Society of Engineering Education, and a member of IEEE, the UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Engineers Singapore, the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, and the International Nuclear Energy Academy.
Reggie proudly served his county and retired as a colonel in the US Army Corps of Engineers. His last duty was during Desert Storm.
He was a member of Gene Hall Bible Study, the Cosmos Club (DC), the New York Yacht Club, and Phi Delta Theta. He was past president of the Phoenix Society and the Peachtree Racket Club.
Reggie cherished his immediate and extended family and valued his friends who were an important part of his life. Reggie never met a stranger and enjoyed making friends wherever he went. Friends near and far knew of Reggie's love of music, dancing, and a good joke.
Reggie was preceded in death by his parents, Rene Albert Vachon and Regina Galvin (Vachon) Radcliffe. He is survived by wife of 60 years, Mary Eleanor Grigg Vachon; son Reginald Irenee Vachon, Jr. (Stephanie) of Chattanooga, TN; daughter Eleanor Marie Vachon of Atlanta; grandchildren Sadler Elizabeth Vachon and Reginald (Braswell) Irenee Vachon, III of Chattanooga, TN; brother-in-law Dr. Neil Sadler Grigg (Peggy) of Ft. Collins, CO; and cousins Eleanor Campbell Peters (Frank) of Charleston, SC, Frances Campbell Hunt (Neal) of Raleigh, NC, and Anne Campbell Gruner (Jerry) of McLean, VA.
Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Christ the King on January 11, 2021 at 10:00 AM. Due to Covid-19 restrictions attendance will be limited. Interment with military honors to follow at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, GA. A visitation will be held on January 10, 2021 at H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill from 4:00-6:00 PM. The Mass can be watched live at https://livestream.com/ctk. Memorials may be made to the Shepherd Center SHARE Military Initiative at the Shepherd Center, 2020 Peachtree Road, NW Atlanta, GA 30309 or Mercy Care Foundation, 5134 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341.